Thursday, June 17, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds and diabetes reading labels: nutrition data weight loss tips


Greetings! Ready for another lesson on how I lost 100 pounds and diabetes without gastric bypass? Today's weight loss wisdom to read labels. To lose weight, I had to track calories and nutrition data. But I was also on the lookout for hidden enemies, like HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and added sugar. Added and even artificial sugar are great pals with obesity and diabetes. 

If further proof of how important reading labels is to lose weight, watch "My 600-lb Life. The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" shows patients' lifestyles before gastric bypass. It's not hard to connect the dots from eating habits, obesity and finally bariatric surgery.  But, happily, we also see dramatic weight loss from changed habits on the gastric bypass diet. Dr. Now's 1200 calorie diet requires overweight folks to count but also read. 

Overweight people like myself, have a bad habit of ignoring the nutrition data on foods. In fact, product labeling developed partly to curb obesity and diabetes. Restaurants have begun posting nutrition data. One big step toward weight loss is to stop mindlessly eating and start reading.  "My 600-lb Life" follow-up episodes show successes taking charge of their eating.   

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to read ALL the nutrition data: the RDA (recommended daily amount) part but also the ingredients. I'm counting calories, protein, carbs, sodium, sugar and fat content.  I'm also sourcing where those things come from. Is is transfat, saturated fat, MUFA or PUFA? Where does the sugar come from? How much is added sugar? Is it high fructose corn syrup? I must not be alone because I've noticed that having to list what's actually in products has made manufacturer's more responsive to what people are trying to avoid. Now products are advertising "no transfat" and "no HFCS." 

And added sugar and HFCS are EVERYWHERE! Used to be transfat was the one to watch for. Thankfully that's less common now. But even I, a long-timer label reader, get surprised by lurking HFCS and sugar. Today, I noticed, for the first time, that stewed tomatoes have 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of which is added sugar! 


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

"My 600-lb Life" inspired keto diet food swaps for egg rolls


One of the most laughed-at folks on "My 600-lb Life" is James K and his "regg rolls." People (NOT me) find it hilarious that this overweight man lays in bed demanding them. I heard the meme so often that I thought Regg Rolls was a restaurant chain down south. Come to find out, he just meant egg rolls. Well, no one's laughing now because poor James K. lost his battle with obesity and passed away. 

This episode of "My 600-lb Life" got me thinking about how cravings derail weight loss. But they don't need to. James K. could have egg rolls and still lose weight. Even Dr. Now's gastric bypass diet would have approved. You just need to make simple keto diet food swaps and your egg rolls will kick obesity butt. 

The secret to how I lost 100 pounds with gastric bypass was to find diet food swaps for favorite foods. To satisfy cravings and lose weight, identify what you're craving about favorite foods. I'm guessing "My 600-lb Life" James K hankered for the filling in egg rolls. And that can be made super keto weight loss-friendly by skipping the wonton. Here are diet food swaps for breadless rainbow diet egg rolls. (Rainbow diet helps you lose weight by eating foods from the different color groups). 

In a food processor, grind raw chicken breast to hamburger consistency. Saute in 1 T. coconut oil. Season with Bragg's liquid amino, minced garlic, black pepper and ginger. Shred one carrot, 1 c. napa or celery cabbage, 1 c. purple cabbage, 1/2 each seeded red and yellow pepper and two scallions.  Stir in 1/4 cup chicken bone broth and continue cooking till veggies are tender. Add fresh squeezed lime juice. 

Skip the wonton or if ya just gotta have it, top with a few wonton strips. Remember less bread or breadless equals more weight loss! Sub soy sauce with Bragg's liquid amino. Skip the lurid red candy-sweet and sour sauce. Make a blend of grated ginger and horseradish, apple cider vinegar, lime and pineapple juice and little low sugar ketchup. Horseradish, ginger and vinegar help lose weight because they are gut cleanses with keto fat-burning properties. Rainbow diet vegetables are fat burners too. 

Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds, plus ways to avoid obesity and gastric bypass. 





Keto crab rangoon dip recipe for weight loss: breadless diet food swaps


Raise your hand if you love crab rangoon! Us too! In fact, I blame Chinese buffets for my obesity, LOL. Not really, I take full credit for getting overweight. But also for the fact that I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or a weight loss drug. I also didn't stop eating foods I like. I just made up low calorie recipes using keto diet food swaps. And today's is breadless, no-wonton crab rangoon dip that actually helps you lose weight! 

I wrote recently that I turn foods inside out to lose weight. I take the good stuff off and out of the bread wrapper and eat just that. I can swing just about anything breadless or low carb. Crab rangoon is a classic example. I don't need that deep-fried, high calorie wonton wrapper. It's the gooey innards I crave! 

And it's the yummy crab rangoon guts that aid weight loss. My keto crab rangoon dip or filling is super low carb and high protein. Here's the recipe with keto diet food swaps. 

Crab rangoon dip (with keto diet food swaps)

1 6 oz can crab

two chopped scallions

1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt (full fat dairy products better diet food swaps) 

2 oz cream cheese

T. parmesan cheese (keto friendly cuz it contains no carbs)

1 teas. Worcestershire sauce 

dash of garlic powder and lemon juice

Soften cream cheese and blend in other ingredients. Don't drain crab. If you need it sweeter, add a little monk fruit sweetener or stevia. 

Enjoy with breadless crudities like cucumber spears, celery or green pepper strips. You won't miss the wonton, promise. And, you can eat the entire bowl for only 200 calories! Stay tuned for more keto diet food swaps to lose weight. 

How I lost 100 pounds with "Inside Out" breadless diet food swaps


Hiya fwiends! This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass surgery or a weight loss drug. Today's anti-obesity tip is to eat "Inside Out" foods. I'll 'splain. To lose weight and minus calories and carbs, I eliminate the bun, bread or wrapper and eat just the filling. I create breadless, low carb and keto versions of favorite foods using diet food swaps. 

I lost 100 pounds about seven years ago with these diet food swaps. Since then I started watching the show "My 600-lb Life" and found some commonalities in folks with morbid obesity. One is our addiction to food in and on bread (wraps, crust, buns, rolls, crackers, etc.) Usually what's inside or on top is fairly healthy (meat, veggies) sans the bread carb overload. So my diet food swaps swing recipes low carb by "de-breading" it. 

The overweight folks on "My 600-lb Life" are shown eating bread-based foods like pizza, egg rolls, sandwiches, burgers and deep-fried, breaded chicken. Unless it's gluten-free plant-based or keto bread with high protein and fiber, most bread and breading are empty calories. Most breads have sugar or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). To lose weight, gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now has them switch to grilled foods vs. breaded and deep fried. 

Breads and breading are linked not only to obesity but also diabetes. Sugar is the usual target for diabetes. But it's actually overeating carbs in general. So low carb keto bread is great for weight loss and treating diabetes.  "My 600-lb Life" Dr. Now's  gastric bypass diet is mostly breadless.  

When I was overweight, I developed a passion for egg rolls and crab rangoon. Then I realized it's the filling I love, not the wonton. So I turn it inside out, eat only the filling and ditch the wrapper. I wrap burritos in cabbage leaves and make breadless sandwiches by using large romaine leaves. I make taco salad instead of tacos and nix the tortillas. I dip cut veggies in salsa instead of chips. I nix cracker based appetizers (a big cause of my obesity) and make charcuterie with olives, cheese and meat. Eliminating bread is how I lost 100 pounds.  



How I lost 100 pounds cutting calories in favorite foods: recipes for weight loss

 You can see in the before and after pictures below that I was very overweight at one time. This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds to outrun obesity. One of  my favorite ways to lose weight is by cutting calories in favorite foods. I use the show "My 600-lb Life" to get ideas. The gastric bypass patients always mention cravings for certain trigger foods. Here are diet food swaps and recipe tips for weight loss. 

Weight loss doesn't require starvation. In fact, not eating enough can actually derail weight loss. But it does mean changing habits. Before gastric bypass, overweight folks on "My 600-lb Life" always eat huge portions. Dr. Now puts them on a 1200 calorie diet after bariatric surgery. You can get pretty full on 1200 calories and still lose weight. Because shedding obesity is about eating less but also eating smarter.  

I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. I didn't eat special diet food. I made the same meals I made my family only I made my portion lighter (and smaller).  That's another trick "My 600-lb Life" patients have to learn is portion control. On the 1200 calorie diet, I eat many of the same foods, just less and with diet food swaps.  

I use diet food swaps in favorite recipes. Ground chicken breast is great for weight loss. So I'll use that in my diet pasta and Mexican food recipes. I'd make my lil corner of a casserole without cheese, for example. I use black bean and edamame pasta. I make my own "obesity busting" lowfat soups and bone broth (more protein) using Bragg's Liquid Amino (for healthy sodium). 

None of these diet recipe food swaps is any great shake in and of themselves. But they added up to 100 pound weight loss! They took my from overweight to normal BMI, or fat to fit! 





Saturday, June 12, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds by staying full: Eat more to lose weight (seriously!)



This blog chronicles how I lost 100 pounds after spiraling into morbid obesity. The biggest battle in weight loss is to curb hunger. Managing hunger is so difficult for those trying to lose weight that many turn to appetite suppressants or a weight loss drug like the newly approved Wegovy. But I found that staying full, ergo eating more, actually helped me lose weight better than diet pills. And Dr. Nowzaradan of "My 600-lb Life" concurs, believe it or not. 

"My 600-lb Life" explores chronic obesity. You would think that if anyone would recommend appetite suppressants or a weight loss drug, it would be a bariatric surgeon prepping patients for gastric bypass. But Dr. Now doesn't even address diet pills. Instead, the "My 600-lb Life" doc teaches overweight patients to follow a 1200 calorie diet. This is a surprisingly generous amount compared to the popular 800 calorie diet that some gastric bypass patients are put on. 

You'd think that such morbid obesity would require a stricter 800 calorie diet. Certainly, the more you have to lose, the less you should eat, right? No because that weight loss equation doesn't factor in hunger and metabolism.  A 1200 calorie diet helps manage cravings and lose weight because it helps you stay fuller. Notice I said full-ER. 

I lost 100 pounds and though I'm never full up, I feel satisfied with the 1200 calorie diet. My blood sugar stays consistent and I have more energy than I would on an 800 calorie diet. My metabolism is better so I burn calories more efficiently. I don't feel jittery like I do with some appetite suppressants either. I'll blog more about how diet pills can actually deter weight loss tomorrow. 


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Diet low carb, lowfat tacos and taco salad recipes: Mexican food swaps for weight loss



What is with this crazy obsession with tacos? Mexican food, tacos, burritos and nachos dominate the pub grub scene. They're about to overtake McWhoppers as the fast food of choice. This blog chronicles how I lost 100 pounds and one essential step to lose weight was creating recipes with diet food swaps. Use these diet recipes to swing Mexican food weight loss friendly. 

The show "My 600-lb Life" explores morbid obesity. Overweight folks seeking gastric bypass are shown eating a lot of fast food. One overweight "My 600-lb Life" participant had admitted to a $100 A DAY fast food addiction. Mexican food like tacos, nachos and burritos are frequent flyers on "My 600-lb Life" tables. 

Made right, like our favorites places in Southwest Detroit (Mexicantown), Mexican food is pretty healthy. But the Taco Bell way, uh-uh. Restaurant food is bad enough, but fast food is basically obesity (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, liver disease) in a paper wrapper. 

Dr. Now teaches his gastric bypass patients to cook at home. That's part of how I lost 100 pounds, cooking recipes with lighter food swaps, beginning with Mexican food. I blame tacos for making  me overweight, LOL!  But I was able to lose weight with these protein and veggie forward diet recipes. 

Inside Out Tacos for weight loss

Tacos fail at weight loss in one word: tortillas. And they're very high- glycemic, so avoid if you have diabetes. Switch to low carb keto flatbread with high protein, or go straight keto and eliminate the tortillas chips and shells. Instead of wrapping food in carbs, turn tacos inside out. 

Make a low carb taco salad. If you just can't lose the tortilla (raises hand here) toss in a few chip crumbs. OR, my favorite, swap a little frozen corn (cooked or just thawed) or hominy in your taco salad. I hate flour tortillas and love corn tortillas. I found hominy hits that sweet spot with about a third of the calories. It isn't low carb but it is high fiber at least. 

Swap beef for ground chicken. Season with lime juice, smoky chipotle paprika, cumin, celery salt, oregano, garlic, cinnamon and onion flakes. 24 g of protein for just 100 calories. Make a salad of shredded  lettuce, purple cabbage, carrots, cilantro, diced peppers, tomatoes and onions. Top with meat. 

Skip the cheese and sour cream or use less to lose weight. This was hard at first, but I found I didn't even miss the cheese. Keto diet wisdom says parmesan is the best cheese for weight loss so try that. Top with salsa verde and a little peach pineapple chipotle salsa. Muy bien, taco salad! 

Eating like this, m'dears was how I lost 100 pounds, diabetes and hypertension!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with "fattitude" adjustment


Hello welcome to the meeting, lol! Today I'll talk about how I lost 100 pounds with "fattitude" adjustment. No you didn't read that wrong. And you're probably wondering what the heck a "fattitude" is. It's a word I coined to describe my attitude about being fat, prior to weight loss. It's a manifestation of what Al-Anon calls stinkin thinkin. This obesity mindset if you will is part low self-esteem, part body image dysmorphia and part nasty attitude of self-pity that caused me to make excuses for my obesity. 

Low self-esteem is directly attributable to obesity, if you comfort eat to feel better. A constant feeling of failure made me sluggish and exhausted. I hated not just that I was overweight. I hated and was ashamed of myself overall. It shows in pictures of me before and after weight loss. I looked awkward and miserable because I was. This stinkin thinkin almost killed me, but thanks to Al-Anon and my higher power. 

It also led to the body image dysmorphia part of my fattitude, which was kind anorexia and kind of the opposite. It's not only slender people who have anorexia (body image dysmorphia). Overweight people struggle to see themselves clearly. I had always seen myself as fat. But I also didn't recognize my own obesity and waited a long time to lose weight. 

Before I lost 100 pounds, clearly, I had some stinkin thinkin. Even after weight loss, I still have some issues with anorexia. I'm often afraid to eat because I'm terrified of going back to overweight. I continue to work to lose weight, but also the fattitude. I keep on keeping on as Al-Anon says. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

A-Z mood lifters for depression and weight loss: Natural antidepressants to distract from food


Ever notice how the people on "My 600-lb Life" seem so miserable? Obesity and depression are old friends. Even being just a little overweight, or trying to lose weight, can be depressing.  One big factor is food addiction or obsession (constantly thinking about eating). Part of how I lost 100 pounds and also beat depression was with natural mood lifters. They helped me curb hunger by taking my mind off food. I call them my natural appetite suppressants! Here are A-Z mood lifters for depression and weight loss    


A is for attitude adjustment. Negativity kills mood. Seek out joys. This one helped me a ton with weight loss.

B is for blissings. The spelling error is intentional. "Blissing" happens when we appreciate blessings. 

C is for change. Change of heart, outlook, maybe relationships or environment, can unblock the joy. 

D is ditch the drugs
. The more pharmaceuticals you're on the worse depression seems to get. Even appetite suppressants or a weight loss drug can cause irritability, anxiety, etc. 

E is for exercise. Obesity slows you down. But the reverse is also true. Inactivity leads to obesity. The overweight folks on "My 600-lb Life" are always sitting. Increasing activity decreases depression plus helps lose weight. It increases metabolism, so you have more energy and feel healthy-tired, not just mopey-lethargic. Suggestions? Playground with kids, bike rides, walks, swimming. 

F is for family and friends. Reconnect with children, siblings, parents. Make new friends and refresh old friendships. Happy relationships are great antidepressants!  

G is for growth. Try new things. Boredom causes depression. "My 600-lb Life" folks talk about food addiction. That's because they do nothing but sit and eat. Keeping busy is a great way to curb hunger and lose weight.

H is for Higher Power. Whoever you worship and however you do it, connect with your higher power as Al-Anon calls it. 

I is for intimacy. It doesn't have to involve the s-word, but touch is good. Touch releases feel-good endorphins (a natural antidepressant).  A lot of "My 600-lb Life" folks were good-touch deprived as kids. They obsess on comfort food because it has become their friend. 

J is for joy. Joy and sadness aren't mutually exclusive. 
Kahlil Gibran calls joy "sorrow unmasked." Like empty nest syndrome--we're sad to lose what made us happy.  Embrace the source of sorrow, to re-find joy. 

K is for know thyself. Many of us didn't get overweight just from overeating. There were a lot of issues involved. Explore those experiences and emotions. I lost 100 pounds and depression when I sourced and dealt with these struggles. Al-Anon wisdom was a great help. 

L is for live. Don't sit by the window watching life pass. That's the "all aboard" for depression and weight gain. Go. Do. Be. Try. 

M is for preventative maintenance. We aren't cogs in a machine. But we both need running repairs. Take down time. Tune up. 

N is for nothing
. Many of us have endless to-do lists. Yet one thing we never do enough is...nothing. Get off the Tilt-a-Whirl and just exist awhile. 

O is for organic. Which is what we are. As such, we need nourishment for soul, mind and body to prevent burnout. It's too easy to turn to comfort food and avoid what we really need. 

P is for purge. We spring clean our homes, why not our minds? Get rid of negative. Spruce up positive. 

Q is for quiet. Still your mind. It's okay to let cares go awhile. They'll be there when you return. 

R is for relax. Hi, I'm Mar and I'm a workaholic. And that's depressing. Do something fun, just for you, not work related. 

S is for smile. Schmaltzy, but it works. You smile at people, they smile back. Nice.  

T is for turn off TV, internet, cellphone. Quit staring at that depressing screen. Go outside. Commune with nature. Rejuvenate.

U is for unplug. Take a technology break. To find weight loss, lose the devices and go camping, fishing or hiking. Get a natural antidepressant buzz! 

V is for real vs. virtual and vicarious. Skip video games. Play live tennis or Scrabble. Cook. Don't just watch cooking shows. Mood lifter plus confidence booster!

W is for weigh. Maybe you're depressed because you're facing big choices. Weigh options. Evaluate. Determine what needs to be changed, what needs to be accepted. You'd be surprised how doing this helped me lose weight! 

X is for cross out. Uncheck, scribble out hurtful actions, yours and others'. Get away from unsafe people and toxic behavior. Avoid toxic thoughts (what Al-Anon calls stinkin thinkin)

Y is for why are you depressed? Use the acronym HALTS. Are you hungry, angry, lonely, tired, sick--tend to those needs to heal. 

Z is for Zzzz. Sleep restores body and mood. 

Blessing and blissing to you all! Love, mar

 

Monday, June 7, 2021

Weight loss drug and "My 600-lb Life" show stinkin thinkin about obesity



You may have read that the FDA approved a new weight loss drug, one of the pharmaceutical appetite suppressants called Wegovy. USA Today shared how one trial user was able to lose weight on these diet pills. Her frankly disturbing comments echo "My 600-lb Life" participants and show "stinkin thinkin" (thank you Al-Anon) about obesity. 

The Wegovy weight loss drug user said it's unrealistic to expect someone with chronic obesity to lose weight on "this or that diet." She said she's tried many diets and realized weight loss wasn't about willpower and that she had "something physical" that made her unable to lose weight. Very overweight gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" exhibit the same stinkin thinkin. What's stinkin thinkin? That's the Al-Anon term for disordered, self-destructive thought patterns. 

There's 3-prong stinkin thinkin going on here. First, the fatalistic notion that obesity is a genetic condition that requires diet pills. Obesity is nothing more than being very overweight. Unlike Prader-Willi Syndrome (a condition that causes people to feel constant hunger) obesity is not a disease of its own, only in that it leads to diseases like diabetes. Obesity doesn't cause you to overeat; you get obese by overeating. 

 "My 600-lb Life" participants often trot out Prader-Willi Syndrome to justify their failure to control eating. First, Prader-Willi is extremely rare. Dr. Now is always quick to set gastric bypass patients straight. It's not that they can't curb hunger, it's that they won't control eating. Also, even if you have Prader-Willi, appetite suppressants alone won't curb hunger. You have to learn new behaviors. 

Which leads to stinkin thinkin prong 2: The "special exemptions" claim to be unable to lose weight no matter what or how hard they try. I lost 100 pounds on a 1200 calorie diet. There is some meal plan that will work and if it doesn't it's the dieter's fault, not the diet. Which leads to stinkin thinkin prong 3, that obesity is inherited. 

"Fat families" doesn't mean people are predisposed to obesity. Generational obesity is down to nurture, not nature. "My 600-lb Life" shows overweight people in family settings and how they eat (terribly, too much, junk and fast food, etc.). It also shows how quickly they lose weight without any magic weight loss drug, on Dr. Now's gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet. 

Which disproves the Wegovy user's comment that willpower and self-control aren't involved. One more time for the people in the back: weight loss is ALL about learning self-control. A diet pill may help you curb hunger and lose weight but it won't help you keep pounds off. Lasting weight loss requires changing stinkin thinkin, eating habits and destructive patterns. 

I realize that all this sounds a little Draconian. I wish there was an easier way to beat obesity, but maybe it's for the best. At the bottom of food addiction (Al-Anon says with any addiction) are mental health issues which shortcuts won't address. So I'll end with the good news: I'm not the most put-together person and I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or prescribed appetite suppressants. You can too! 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds eating more: 1200 calorie diet for weight loss




Hiya friends, time for another quirky "how I lost 100 pounds" tip. Today's obesity-busting advice is to eat enough, because eating beats too-restrictive anorexia-like dieting for weight loss! "Eat This, Not That!" and explained that no matter how overweight you are, it's harder to lose weight eating too little. It's down to metabolism. 

"Eat This Not That!" says eating too few calories daily (not to be confused with intermittent fasting) causes your metabolism to slow. This freaks your body out and makes it cling on to fat for dear life. I've proved this myself. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with a 1100 to 1200 calorie diet. It's pretty close to the "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass diet. In theory. Because while I call it a 1200 calorie diet it is probably closer to 800 calories. 

The overweight folks on "My 600-lb Life" describe a malnourishment phobia (fear of going without food). I lost 100 pounds and in the process veered toward food phobia or anorexia. I feared that if I ate, I'd never lose weight. In colossal irony, I couldn't find anything that would fill me up, so I just ate nothing. My metabolism tanked, not surprisingly. So I tried eating the 1200 calorie diet, with intermittent fasting and stayed mostly full and restarted weight loss. 

You'd think that the more extreme the obesity, the fewer calories required for weight loss. But this metabolism thing applies to obesity as well as anorexia. Even the gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" lose weight like crazy if they follow the 1200 calorie diet. Even intermittent fasting calls for some calorie consumption. And I lost 100 pounds by eating more so there's something to "Eat This Not That" advice. 

Best to you! love, mar





"My 600-lb Life" obesity shows food is socially acceptable addiction


Rising obesity rates prove some oddly variant perceptions of addiction. Substitute "alcohol" "or "drugs" for "food" in these statements (taken from the reality TV show "My 600-lb Life") and you'll see why. 

"I live for food (drugs)." 

"Food (alcohol) is my best friend." 

"I can't go 15 minutes without food (drugs)"

"Food (alcohol) comforts me."

The usual response to admitted food addiction is a sympathetic nod. The folks on "My  600-lb Life" can make these outlandish statements because they know it's acceptable. But drug or alcohol addiction would get a cold stare, harsh criticism, ostracization and very probably a police or APS call...if someone actually had the courage admit drug reliance. 

If someone was staggering down the street drunk or stoned, we'd be horrified. We even shame marijuana use when it has proven health benefits and is debatably safer that most OTC meds. It's definitely safer than prescription painkillers and opioids. But we think nothing of obesity. It takes a show like "My 600-lb Life" to wake us up to the fact that food addiction is every bit as dangerous as drug or alcohol addiction.  

Why the disparate responses to drug addiction and obesity? Because being overweight is socially acceptable whereas being drug addicted is not.  We get food addiction and overeating. Many of us are overweight and struggle with the same thing. And we shame what we do not understand. 



This blog explores how I lost 100 pounds. And I found that even weight loss is less understood than being overweight. When you lose weight, people treat you differently. Some genuinely admire your hard work. But others express jealousy. It's as if weight loss is a commodity with limited access. 

So what's my point? Shame doesn't fix any addiction. A little empathy goes a long way, as long as it doesn't turn into enabling. And about weight loss? The good news is that everyone can lose weight if they want to! I lost 100 pounds and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't as difficult as being overweight.  


Saturday, June 5, 2021

"My 600-lb Life" proves shocking facts on weight loss, obesity and weight gain

Are you ready for some shocking facts on obesity? Buckle up, cause I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds and it came as a jolt to me. You always hear on the gastric bypass show "My 600-lb Life" how hard weight loss is. But from a very divergent source, my husband, I learned that it's actually much harder to gain rather than lose weight. 

The gastric bypass reality TV "My 600-lb Life has taught me a lot. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was not to follow these examples of morbid obesity. But my husband has never been overweight. 

The man eats like he's obese, but has actually been underweight. During our recent bout with Covid 19, he lost 17 pounds in 10 days! His mother also struggled to gain weight. 

So I'll admit to feeling jealous of those folks who don't have to try to lose weight. But here's the secret: they feel the same way about overweight people. And that battle is much worse. If Dr. Nowzaradan of "My 600-lb Life" expects 30-lb weight loss in a month prior to gastric bypass, it must be doable. His 1200 calorie is practically fool-proof if (big if!) the bariatric surgery patients will follow it. 

However, weight gain, not so much. People like my husband can literally eat anything they want. Minus Covid 19, my husband eats like a horse! He also has a super fast metabolism, whereas obesity slows metabolism. That's why so many overweight folks have metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance, pre-diabetes). 

But not all who are underweight have a speedy metabolism. Some have the same issues as overweight people: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart failure and more. And too much calorie restricting halts metabolism as well, and makes the body store fat. We're slowly fattening him up after his Covid 19 weight loss. At least he's gaining at the same recommended pace to lose weight, 1-2 pounds a week.

So what have we learned today, children? I'll go first. I've learned to be careful what I wish for, to count my blessings and do the best I can with whatever God has put in my life. Love you all! 



How I lost 100 pounds without weight loss drugs: Mind over Platter tips to curb hunger


I just wrote a blog post on the newly FDA-approved weight loss drug, Wegovy. It's a chemical appetite suppressant used to treat obesity. This blog is devoted to sharing how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or diet pills. I'm concerned that chemical weight loss drugs curb hunger but at what health cost? The "My 600-lb Life" reality TV show hears the many excuses folks make to avoid following the 1200 calorie diet. I'm predicting that Wegovy will be used as just another diet cheat. But happily, you can lose weight without them. 

We don't need "My 600-lb Life" to prove that obesity is a huge problem. Just look around. I looked in the mirror and didn't like how overweight I was. Here's how lost 100 pounds, 10 BMI points and 9 dress sizes. I curb hunger without weight loss drugs with natural plant-based appetite suppressants and fat burners (raspberry ketones, green tea, garcinia cambogia and cinnamon). 

But most of my weight loss was down to learning self-control and exercising willpower. I use what I call "mind over platter" or Jedi mind tricks. (LOL). These emotional (spiritual) health resets help me not only curb hunger but also stinkin thinkin (thank you Al-Anon). 

"My 600-lb Life" proves patients need more than just gastric bypass. They struggle as much with the emotional as the physical struggle of being overweight. They confuse wanting food with needing it. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was to sort out my relationship with food. Hunger and cravings were constant. Along with the weight loss supplements, my "mind over platter" tricks help me psych myself full and curb hunger. Here are my psychological appetite suppressants. 

Get used to feeling a little hungry all the time. The truth is there's no magic bean that will completely curb hunger plus make you lose weight. Green tea helps--caffeine products are good appetite suppressants but they can also increase hunger so use with caution. 

Use any appetite suppressants with not instead of portion control. Weight loss drugs and diet pills like Wegovy don't teach new eating habits like a 1200 calorie diet does.  

Think of hunger as an ally instead of enemy. When you feel hungry, use it as an alarm clock. Perhaps you're working too hard and need a break. Get some fresh air to take your mind off food cravings. Maybe you really do need to eat. Starving yourself doesn't make you lose weight. Food deprivation borks your metabolism and can make you gain weight. Maybe you're just thirsty (the body confuses hunger and thirst). 

Mind over platter or, what's really the matter?  Are you lonely and "hungry" for companionship, love, human interaction or a hug. Bypass the comfort food (junk food) which doesn't satisfy for time with loved ones. It's not as simple as finding foods to fill you up. You have to change how you think about yourself, what you eat, how you eat and what role food fills in your life.

Mind over platter: cravings too shall pass. I was very overweight (clearly if I lost 100 pounds). And I promise you, don't despair. In early obesity, you may think you'll never get full on the 1200 calorie diet. But you will as your stomach shrinks with weight loss.  

Lose weight by learning to be satisfied with less. Redefine "feeling full."  Don't eat till you are full, or beyond, just satisfied. Weight loss happens when you stop eating when you are still a little hungry. Plus you'll feel fuller if you let your food settle instead of diving right into that second (third, 26th) helping. 

Curb hunger by appreciating what you have. When you feel hungry, consider the many who know real starvation. Keep their photos on the fridge and offer up your hunger for them. Send money you saved eating less, to missions. 

Put food in its proper place as nourishment, not solace, a friend or lover. No gastric bypass or weight loss drug or diet pill can replace this "mind over platter" trick. Practice portion control Talk yourself out of eating junk, rather than convincing yourself you deserve it. Rethink treats. Junk food is no treat if it makes you overweight, sick and tired.

Fill up your fun tank to fight obesity. Do something active, not passive (texting, video games or watching TV). You get hungrier staring at a screen and it's easier to mindlessly eat. Get outside, Garden. Volunteer, Walk the dog, kids and husband. Do housework. Make crafts with the children. Go out with friends for coffee. Romp with the kids in a pile of leaves. Take a nap or start a project. Run a tub of hot water and read. 

These are awesomely therapeutic psychological appetite suppressants lick diet pills any day!  

Weight loss drug concerns: Wegovy appetite suppressant no diet shortcut to treat obesity


The FDA just approved a new weight loss drug, Wegovy which joins Semaglutide (Ozempic, Rybelsus) to treat obesity. Should you try it for treating obesity? Please read this before you do. A quote in recent USA Today article has me concerned that overweight folks may see this appetite suppressant drug as a shortcut to diet. The participants on "My 600-lb Life" are going to party like it's 1999! They already think that bariatric surgery will magically make them lose weight. Diet pills that lets them (in their mind) change nothing and lose weight? Yikes! 

As I expected, right off the bat, a woman in the Wegovy trial said that the weight loss drug made her realize that [diet] isn't about willpower. She was one of those "tried every diet and nothing worked" folks. This always sends up red flags for me. If you can't lose weight on any meal plant, it's not the diets that have failed. Either you haven't worked it long enough or you've cheated.  Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" his "special exemptions" it's not CAN'T but WON'T follow the diet. 

Perhaps the Wegovy participant meant weight loss is not just about willpower. But she also said there's something "physical" about not being about to control hunger. Which to me reads like"My 600-lb Life" type excuses about having some sort of medical reason why she can't control hunger without diet pills. It also doesn't sound like they worked any better than just diet. It took her 68 weeks to lose 63 pounds. Good she's not losing weight super-fast and she will keep it off, more likely. But it still sounds like there's some reliance on the drug to fix overeating. 

I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, with good old calorie counting, portion control and some natural appetite suppressants (cinnamon, green tea) and let me just say that whether you use them or not, weight loss is still very much about willpower and self-control. And it should be! Any weight loss drug that curbs hunger and makes you lose weight without any effort should treated very suspiciously.  

Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with appetite suppressants. But there's a world of difference between fruit based supplements and chemicals that kill your appetite. That's a common side effect of street drugs like cocaine! Remember Dexatrim diet pills? They contained an ingredient that was strongly linked with stroke and heart trouble. 

I know I sound a bit harsh. Yes, it sucks to be overweight. It's hard to curb hunger and cravings. Obesity is challenging to manage. But it can be done safely and without diet pills. Keep reading for healthy weight loss tips.






Thursday, June 3, 2021

Food cravings lead to obesity but subside with weight loss


The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" gives a good perspective into issues surrounding obesity. Two weight loss hindrances common to every participant are food addiction and food cravings. The morbidly obese gastric bypass patients talk about food as if it was heroin and hunger is withdrawal. One gal said she thinks about eating all day long. Another said there's a constant voice in her head yelling "I WANT CHOCOLATE!

Though I'm not as food addicted as the folks on "My 600-lb Life" I do understand cravings. This blog is devoted to sharing how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass or other bariatric surgery. So clearly I've been overweight and struggled with overeating. And I've got a theory about cravings and obesity: the more overweight you are, the worse cravings get, but they subside as you lose weight. Said differently, it gets easier if you work your program (Al-Anon nod). 

Of course the reverse is true too: stronger cravings lead to greater obesity and mastering them is how you lose weight. Sadly, most of the gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" are, at the risk of sounding crass, incredibly immature, self-centered, weak-willed and lazy. But as they address these bad habits and  follow Dr. Now's 1200 calorie bariatric surgery diet, they find incredible weight loss. 

I was able to lose weight when I learned to control cravings instead of letting them control me. Getting on 1200 calorie diet helped too! I'll write more about how I lost 100 pounds and ways to curb hunger tomorrow. Here's to healthy weight loss one day at a time!


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

How I lost 35 pounds on a bread and water fast: spiritual fasting benefits


There's some controversy about intermittent fasting (AKA time restricted feeing or 5:2 diet) as a way to lose weight. Going without eating for long stretches, even if you're overweight, can be dangerous. But I found that a spiritual bread and water fast is beneficial health-wise and for weight loss. I lost 35 pounds without trying, thanks to spiritual fasting. 

Spiritual benefits of intermittent fasting: I'm Catholic and 30 years ago, I started following a bread and water fast twice a week on an invitation from our Blessed Mother. Getting my mind off food helped me focus on God. Not thinking about weight loss helped too. 

Emotional benefits of intermittent fasting. I thought I'd feel cranky and tired on a bread and water fast. Actually, I felt calmer on this 5:2 diet (five days normal eating, two days spiritual fasting). It was almost euphoric. I had strength to do my work and care for my kids. 

Physical benefits of time restricted feeding. Research shows the intermittent aids obesity, diabetes, hypertension and lowers cholesterol. It boosts metabolism that being overweight slows down. 

Weight loss benefits of spiritual fasting: I was overweight when I started the bread and water fast but weight loss never occurred to me. After a few months of this 5:2 diet, a friend said I looked a lot slimmer. I weighed myself and found I did lose weight: 35 pounds! I'd dropped two dress sizes and several inches off my waist.

Intermittent fasting guidelines. A bread and water fast is our calling as Catholics.  But you can amend if you're trying to lose weight with gluten free or keto diet, . Although some religious fasts require daily observance, I found that fasting on Wednesday and Friday works best. I used a modified time restricted feeding or 16:8 diet (8 hours eating, 16 not). Mine was more like 12 on, 12 off. I ate half a piece of bread every 1-2 hours, drank lots of water and took vitamin and took supplements. I didn't binge after fasting and ramped into full meals slowly (as I would after being ill).

Stay tuned for more updates on how I lost 100 pounds a few years ago.





How I lost weight with spiritual intermittent fasting


I've been blogging about how I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass. But did I ever tell you the story of how I lost 35 pounds without even thinking about weight loss? 30 years ago, I followed a Catholic bread and water fast. It never entered my mind that I would lose weight. And I realized that this spiritual fasting is the same thing as the trending intermittent fasting diet AKA ADF (alternate day fasting) or the 5:2 diet. 

I started spiritual fasting after attending a retreat devoted to Our Lady of Medjugorje. In her apparition, the Blessed Mother Mary called the faithful to a bread and water fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. For a few months, I practiced alternate day fasting, or the 5:2 diet (eat normally for five days, restrict calories for two). This also resembles time restricted feeding where you only eat during certain hours of the day. 

I'd given birth about six months previous and was still carrying some baby fat. I never worried much about weight loss after having a baby. Being a busy mom, time restricted feeding and intermittent fasting was no problem, LOL. Active parents usually eat too little, not too much! In this pregnancy it  took longer to lose weight but I didn't notice. However, after a few months of the bread and water fast, someone mentioned how much thinner I looked. I had lost 35 pounds. 

Is intermittent fasting just a fad? Is it safe? Well, the 5:2 diet helped me lose weight. Maybe it was because I was focused on spiritual improvement and not just weight loss. I can't go all day without eating so I do time restricted feeding (the 16:8 diet, fasting 16 and not fasting for 8 hours). I never got cranky or felt starved. In fact, I felt great on the bread and water fast. 

Do you have to eat keto bread on the bread and water fast? Nope, I just ate good ole cheap Admiral bread (about 3-4 slices during the spiritual fasting period). I didn't adhere to any time restricted feeding, per se. And if you're going for weight loss you can eat other foods and lose weight. Neither the 16:8 diet nor ADF (alternate day fasting) specify what you eat. In fact it's sometimes called the fasting and feasting diet. This works great for gluten free and keto diet people. 

Stay tuned for more on how I lost 100 pounds. 







Tuesday, June 1, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds with intermittent fasting and a 1200 calorie diet



I struggled with obesity a few years ago and was able to lose weight without gastric bypass.  I've been blogging about weight loss and I'm often asked how many calories I eat a day. Part of how I lost 100 pounds was with a 1200 calorie diet and intermittent fasting. Bariatric surgeon Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" allows his patients 1200 calories a day. And they achieve great success fixing obesity, if they follow that diet. 

 A recent article in "Eat This Not That" affirms the "My 600-lb Life" 1200 calorie diet to lose weight but says ultra low 800 calorie diets can actually stall metabolism and weight loss. This is really important to note if you just a little overweight. If you only have say, 30 extra pounds, your body will store fat if it thinks you aren't eating enough. Intermittent fasting is different. It doesn't throw off metabolism like a daily 800 calorie diet. 

I use a modified keto 1200 calorie diet consisting primarily of protein and vegetables, a little yogurt and about one fifth keto carbs. It may not sound like much but you can eat lot of lean protein (chicken breast, salmon, tuna, shrimp, lean beef and pork), unlimited vegetables and a decent amount of keto carbs for that amount. You can definitely get full. If I use intermittent fasting, I can sometimes even eat a little more and still lose weight (I'll blog more on that later). 

An 800 calorie diet may sound like a good idea but it really doesn't work much better to lose weight. It leaves you so hungry that you usually blow it. We've all seen those promises of rapid weight loss, eating soup and things like that. But that's only for extreme cases of obesity. If Dr. Now of "My 600-lb Life" can promise 30-lbs a month weight loss with 1200 calories a day, it makes more sense to go that route, whether you're getting gastric bypass or not. 


Ultra low calorie diets halt weight loss?


I just read a puzzling article in "Eat This Not That" about how too-low calorie diets halt metabolism and weight loss. When dieters over-restrict calories it sends a message to the body to conserve fat. The conclusion is that you should only lose weight at a rate of 1-2 pounds a week. It didn't specify what too few calories was. It's probably somewhere between an 800 calorie diet and the "My 600-lb Life" gastric bypass diet of 1,200 calories. 

If we should only lose 1- 2lbs a week, why does a bariatric surgeon and expert on obesity, expect obese patients to lose 30 or more in a month before gastric bypass? Why does the "My 600-lb Life" doc put bariatric surgery patients on an 1,200 calorie diet? And why do Dr. Now's methods work? The issue seems to be how overweight someone is. 



My early experience with weight loss proves the "My 600-lb Life" bariatric surgeon correct. But my later experience affirms "Eat This Not That." Part of how I lost 100 pounds a few years ago was with a 1,200 calorie diet (or actually more like an 800 calorie diet). Now I'm trying to lose weight again, but I'm not that overweight. I'm using the same method and weight loss is slower, barely one pound a week. Am I undereating and screwing up my metabolism?

Dr. Now pushes gastric bypass patients to lose weight fast, because their obesity is out of control. And it's very doable. When I lost 100 pounds, the first 75 pounds came off easily and quickly. But weight loss stalled as I neared goal weight. Why did the 1,200 calorie diet work when I was obese, but not just overweight? 

 If "Eat This Not That" is correct, my body is just taking care of itself. My metabolism is slowing and retaining fat because I have been restricting calories for too long. Maybe it's time to move to a maintenance diet? That should probably be the complete 1,200 or maybe even 1,500 calories instead of the 800 calorie diet I've been following. Maybe how I lost 100 pounds should not be how I attempt to lose 20?



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